INEC Chairman Loses 87 Staff In 2017 To High Blood Pressure
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has disclosed that not less than 85 out of his 16,000 staff died in the year 2017 alone, due to various illnesses. The figure was disclosed by the agency’s chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu during his budget defense before the Senate Committee on INEC on Wednesday in Abuja.
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The figures were also in response to the question asked by the members of the committee on why the electoral body is budgeting for a sick bay at its headquarters in Abuja.
According to Professor Yakubu, the nature of their job makes the staff work under intense pressure and some of the deaths actually occurred within the agency’s premises with health complications such as heart attack. He said, “Due to the nature of our work, our staff work under intense pressure to the point that many of them have no time for routine medical check-ups which often lead to high blood pressure and heart attack on some of them while on duty either here in Abuja or at our state offices.”
“In fact, last year alone, a preponderance of the 85 staffers that we lost died through such circumstances hours or few days after being rushed to hospitals. The reason why we decided to have sick bays in our offices now for preventive measures”, he said.
He further disclosed that aside from the money being budgeted for the establishment of the sick bays in their offices, the commission is also setting aside a total of N9bn in the 2018 budget estimates of the commission to serve as hazard fees and other allowances for its staff while on the field.
He, however, disclosed that the total budgetary figure of the commission for the 2019 general election is still in compilation and that the exact figure will only be known when after the passage of the electoral act by the National Assembly.
“It is provisions of the amendment to 2010 electoral act after passage by the National Assembly that will show the commission how elections at the primary level by the political parties would be conducted and monetary cost that would entail on the part of INEC, let alone the general elections”, he said.